Red Wings

 

I have a favorite spot I often pass when I go biking in the country west of town where I always look forward to seeing (and hearing) Red-winged blackbirds perched on cattails, trilling their sweet summer songs.

A male will defend his territory and attract a mate by perching on a high stalk and singing. They fluff their feathers and lift the leading edge of their wing so the red shoulder patches are prominent.   Red-winged blackbirds are dimorphic, that is to say, the males and females have a completely different appearance.  Females have mottled, heavily banded plumage lacking the distinguishing red and yellow shoulders the species is known for.

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